Michigan may be most widely recognized as the home of the troubled Detroit 3, whose past ignorance of creating efficient cars and embracing SUVs has landed them in hot water. Now, the state wants to change this image and create a reputation as a future base for greener cars, an initiative that has seen four advanced battery manufacturers investing around $1.7 billion in the state.

The situation was put in succinct terms by Governor Jennifer Granholm, who explained to Automotive News that the new projects "are all about going from rust to green". These projects include a $600 million investment from A123Systems, a company specializing in cell manufacturing and pack assembly of batteries. This company has already signed a deal with Chrysler to help the carmaker develop battery systems for its upcoming electric car projects.

At the same time, a $665 million investment from a joint venture between Dow Chemical, Kokam America and Townsend Ventures will see the construction and operation of a battery production plant to build lithium-polymer battery technology exclusively for the electric car market. The operation will be large enough to build 1.2 billion Watt hours of energy annually - enough to power around 60,000 hybrid and electric vehicles every year.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls-Saft will also be investing close to $220 million in the state in the form of a lithium-ion battery production plant, with a view to creating 15 million lithium-ion cells every single year, or enough capacity to power 150,000 vehicles annually. Additionally, a similar project being undertaken by Korea's LG Chem, along with General Motors and American company Compact Power, will see a $200 million investment in the production of lithium-ion cells in the state of Michigan also.

In total, the four investments will create close to 7,000 jobs for the state, which couldn't come soon enough considering the poor state of employment in the automotive sector in Michigan following the current economic crisis and the misfortunes of the Detroit 3.